Report: Prosecutors Consider Charging Russians In DNC Hacking

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The Department of Justice has identified at least six Russian government officials who participated in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee, the Wall Street Journal reported early Thursday.

Prosecutors may file charges against the Russian individuals but they likely would not be indicted in the United States.

The Journal notes that the investigation into the hacking of the DNC is separate from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in last year’s presidential election, ties between the Donald Trump campaign staff and Russia, and potential obstruction of justice.

WikiLeaks began posting the stolen DNC emails including those of John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, during the 2016 campaign.

News of the potential charges came the same week that Mueller charged Paul Manafort, the former campaign manager for the Trump campaign, and his business associate Richard Gates on 12 counts including money laundering, tax fraud, and conspiracy against the U.S.

Both Manafort and Gates pleaded not guilty on all counts, and Manafort’s lawyer called the charges “ridiculous.”

Also this week, Mueller unsealed the indictment of a former Trump campaign staffer, George Papadopoulos, who plead guilty to lying to the FBI during its Russia probe.